Warm Season Turf Maintenance

Do you have turf maintenance questions? How do you keep a lawn lush and vibrant? How do they keep weeds out of their lawn? How often should you water your lawn? What is aeration and dethatching? When do I put down pre-emergent? Post-emergent? Fertilizer? Why is this so hard?

Keeping track of your turf maintenance can be challenging, especially when the terminology and actions are new to you. Let’s work together to figure out what we should do when!

How often should you mow?

Just like cutting your hair helps it to grow, cutting your grass helps it to grow. The key is to mow it to the optimal height. While you might think it is convenient to mow your grass short, cutting your grass too short can cause the grass to become thin and week. During the peak of summer, you can also scorch your turf roots if your lawn is mowed too short. If you let your grass grow too tall, you can harbor pests and disease. Long grass can also cause your grass to die from a lack of nourishment.

The most important thing to remember is never to remove more than one-third of the leaf’s length at any one mowing. During peak season, you may need to mow every 5 to 7 days, and during drought months or chilly months, not mow at all.

Pre or Post Emergent

Pre and Post Emergent are used to control the weeds in your turf grass. Pre-emergent should be applied to your lawn before the weeds take root. Think of “Pre-Emergent” like “Preventative”
Post-emergent should be applied if you can see the weeds in your lawn. Apply post-emergent later in the growing season once they have already grown, yet before they have gone to seed.


Does your lawn need fertilizer? The best way to know is to have a soil test done. You can buy a soil test here from Texas A&M.
Nitrogen is the most common fertilizer applied to turfgrass. Apply fertilizer while your grass is actively growing and can use the additional nutrients. Apply the first nitrogen fertilizer application after your grass has turned green and you have mowed two or three times.
Apply your fall fertilizer to help resist weeds in the winter. Fall fertilizer also helps your grass to recover faster and healthier in the spring. Apply your fall fertilizer no later than October 1st.
Garden Design Inc. recommends fertilizing four times a year, April, June, August, and then again in September.


Most lawns here in North Texas only need about 1 inch of water per week. It is up to you whether you split your water between one day or two. In August, when temperatures are steadily above 95 degrees every day, you may need to increase your water to 1.5 inches of water per week. Be sure to cut back your sprinkler system if we receive rain around the Metroplex. Always water before 10 a.m. or after 6 p.m., preferably in the morning if possible. If you water during the hottest part of the day, you can lose up to 30% of your water to evaporation. To make sure your lawn is receiving proper watering call to set up your irrigation appointment.

What is Turf Aeration?

Lawn aeration removes little bits or “plugs” of soil from your lawn. Aerating helps loosen compacted soil and allows air, water, and nutrients to reach your turf’s roots.

When To Aerate Your Lawn

Aeration should be done during peak growing season so that it has time to recover before cool weather comes. If you have high-trafficked areas, aeration should be done every year or if you have clay soil. If you have sandy-loamy soil and your lawn is growing well, you only need to aerate every 2-3 years. ** Garden Design Inc. does not provide these services.

What is Dethatching? When Do You Dethatch?

Well, to know what dethatching is, we first have to talk about thatch. Thatch is a layer of living and dead grass products that accumulate at the base of your turf—matter such as shoots, roots, and stems. Some thatch is useful for insulating and retaining moisture, but any amount of thatch over about 1/2 inch does more harm than good. Thick thatch can cause pest and disease problems and reduce air and moisture flow to the roots. When this occurs, it is time to dethatch your turfgrass. Dethatching removes the thick layer of built-up plant material at the roots of your turf. ** Garden Design Inc. does not provide these services.

If taking care of your turfgrass seems like a daunting task, do not fear. We are here to help! Call us for a quote on your turf maintenance, 214.350.2525. If you are looking for a more in-depth look at spring turf maintenance check out our Spring Turf Maintenance Blog.

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